Phlox (Phlox spp.) are perennial flowering plants found growing naturally and used for ground covers in gardens. Phlox develop five-petaled blossoms in various colors like red, pink, lavender, bluish-purple and white. Phlox species have a wide assortment of habitats.
Phlox derives its name from the Greek word flame and belongs to the plant family Polemoniaceae. Phlox species are native plants to North America, except one species indigenous to Siberia, Siberian phlox (Phlox sibirica). Phlox occurs in the following regions of the United States: eastern, Rocky Mountains, the southwest and northwest.
The United States Department of Agriculture uses a plant hardiness zone map to categorize regions by the average minimum temperature. Phlox plants are hardy in zones 3 (-40 to -35 degrees Fahrenheit) through 9 (25 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit), depending on species. The USDA zone map indicates most areas in America as potential planting sites for phlox, except interior Alaska, Hawaii and southern portions of Florida.
The genus Phlox has over 67 species of plants with a variety of habitats; phloxes need moist soil and full sun. Blue phlox (Phlox divaricata) grows in the thin pine trees in the Midwestern woods and Escambia regions of America along with creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera). Alpine phlox (Phlox condensata) thrives at the elevation of 11,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains.
- University of Vermont Extension; Phlox; Dr. Leonard Perry
- Ohio State University Extension: Phlox Subulata
- Kansas State University Extension; Phlox: Phylogeny and Taxonomy; Carolyn J. Ferguson; 2008
- Jefferson Davis Community College: Polemoniaceae - Phlox - Wildflowers of Escambia
- Tarlington State University: Number 22 Alpine Phlox
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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